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Scrabble To Allow Proper Nouns 377

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-gotta-be-kidding-me dept.
Hogwash McFly writes "The rules of the popular word game Scrabble are soon to allow proper nouns. Mattel, the maker of the game, hopes the changes made for a new edition, released this July, will 'add a new dimension' to Scrabble and 'introduce an element of popular culture into the game.' With this rule change, the company hopes to target younger fans and families, although they will continue to sell the traditional version where 'Beyonce' and 'Facebook' are not permitted words." Nobody is listening to my suggestion to penalize by one tile any player who has memorized every two-letter English word.
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Scrabble To Allow Proper Nouns

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  • Hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot@uberm00. n e t> on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:29AM (#31747840) Homepage Journal

    Wouldn't this mean you could claim that any name that has been given to anyone is a valid word?

  • Rule change? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:31AM (#31747874)

    Why would a rule change like that require a completely separate version of the game?

    Oh - that's right - more sales.


  • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:31AM (#31747878) Homepage
    That was my thought as well. With all the weird names and alternate spellings people give their kids these days, pretty much any random combination of letters could be successfully argued as being a valid word. Personally, I think I'll stick with the old rules.
  • Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:32AM (#31747884)
    So now it's scrabble for idiots. Maybe next we can have Jeopardy change to multiple choice.
  • by m93 (684512) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:32AM (#31747896) of the chief things that is causing our country to fail. As an avid boardgamer, I am offended and disgusted.
  • by linzeal (197905) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:35AM (#31747942) Homepage Journal
    I am eagerly awaiting the matchups between people that listen to celebrity gossip and kids who play video games. Literature professors and Philosophy of Science majors should be fun too. Seriously, there are so many different fields with famous figures, creative works with dozens of 100's of characters and even worse think of Pokemon. I am not fucking accepting a Pokemon character as a valid word, no way.
  • by f3rret (1776822) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:36AM (#31747970)

    Well like the topic says, did we really need a patch for Scrabble?

    I mean it's not like there is something built into the game that prevents people from using house rules , nor is there (far as I am aware) any professional Scrabble scene so it is not like there is any great need for an official revision of the Scrabble rules.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WarlockSquire (212901) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:38AM (#31747984)

    just partner with apple, and create an app that tells you whether a word is valid.
    why leave it to question when there's money to be made providing the answer?

  • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dummondwhu (225225) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:41AM (#31748034)
    Not only that, but if people really want to use proper nouns, then what's to stop them currently? Because it's not written on the rules paper? Scrabble is about vocabulary, not about knowledge of popular culture.

    Most surprising to me is that I even care, but the more I think about it, the more I do. Come on, Mattel!
  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:05AM (#31748334) Journal

    Has it come across anyone people that they could have been playing by these rules all along?

    I don't see why this affects anything at all.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:12AM (#31748410) Journal
    The rules that I always used (from a version of the game that's a decade or so older than me) state no foreign words either, which eliminates a number of the words in the official word list. We play with a real dictionary, and if the word isn't in that or is but is marked as a proper noun, then you can't use it. The official word list has contained words that the rules say shouldn't be allowed for a long time.
  • House Rules (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baby Duck (176251) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:13AM (#31748426) Homepage
    Always play with House Rules
    1. 1. No foreign units. Especially not foreign currencies.
    2. 2. No "spellings" of "letters". Example: Why is "en" in the Scrabble Dictionary as a "spelling" of the pronounciation of the letter "n" ??!?
    3. 3. Despite #2, spellings of Greek letters are allowed (example: "alpha") since they are used in so many disciplines
    4. 4. No abbreviations! No to "amp", "ref", "ex", etc. Or while we are at it, "etc" itself.
    5. 5. No Old English or Middle English words or spelling variants
  • Re:Hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stonewallred (1465497) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:20AM (#31748534)
    You can bet your ass it won't be allowed in NSA rated games.
  • by Peter Cooper (660482) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:29AM (#31748680) Homepage Journal

    Wow, big deal. All they need to do to "change the rules" is to print a slightly different paper to slip inside the box. WTF would they need to "make" two separate editions? Hardly anyone seriously plays 100% by the official rules anyway so it seems a load of bullshit. You could just agree with your partner to follow this rule without buying a new set. This is just PR bullshit.

  • by bickerdyke (670000) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:34AM (#31748770)

    "Keep selling a board with the original rules" is not exactly the definition of an optional rule. It's rather taking advantage of the people who never realized that ALL rules are more or less optional.

    It shouldn't take the players more than 3 minutes to decide if proper nouns are allowed or not. Sure as hell they shouldn't have to buy a different board for that!

    if we're lucky, we might get theleaflet with the "classic" rules as an "expansion set" for half the price of a complete game....

    Hasn't everyone overthrown this rule with "Counts if google has more than 1000000 hits for it" anyway?

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:37AM (#31748818) Journal

    For those who missed the joke, “why” would be a 24-point word.

  • by stonewallred (1465497) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:39AM (#31748862)
    There are about 100 people who make a living playing professional level scrabble. None of them are rich, but they can usually make 500 or so bucks a weekend most weekends, with a few scattered tourneys netting them 1-5k throughout the year and the wold tourney can net them 50k the last time I checked. I stopped play competitively when I saw moving from being ranked in the high 400s was going to take a lot more time and effort than I was willing to expend. I now only play tourneys if they are within a couple hours of my house, and I know none of the top 200 or so players in the world are not going to show up. That way I can reasonably expect to either win it all or place in the money. I played a two time winner of the world tourney once, and in 8 games he beat me by at least 100 points a game. Once by 200 and some change. But people who are not in the top 200 rankings are beatable by anyone who is in the top 500. The difference between a 500 ranked and a 100 ranked is the equivalent to the difference between a top fuel funny car and a 1968 VW bug on a 1/4 mile strip.
  • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @12:09PM (#31749300)
    It's worse than that. They don't even have to rationalize that it is the name of a person. They can just make up a short story right there on the spot, and name it with whatever random sting of characters they have, and they have now created a perfectly valid proper noun that is completely within the spirit of the new rules.


    Zxggrta: The story of a boy playing Scrabble

    There once was a boy playing scrabble. He didn't have any real words in his tiles, so he decided to write a short story called "Zxggrta". Since he wrote the story, "Zxggrta" is now a valid word in Scrabble.

    The End
  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @12:47PM (#31749908) Journal

    Fine with me. I wouldn't want to play Scrabble with anyone who would want to use proper nouns anyway. Does that make me a jerk? Probably, but I'm ok with that. I'd rather just not play than play a fundamentally broken game.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @02:11PM (#31751362) Journal
    > Mattel has stepped into a morass that is far deeper than they know.

    I doubt these new rules will be used in Scrabble competitions.

    And they won't cause big problems to most people who understand the unwritten rules of playing games _socially_.

    Basically when people play games socially, people will either agree to play according to a set of rules upfront, or they'll accept what the "house rules" are even if they aren't completely aware of all the "house rules".

    The general assumption is that the participants will behave reasonably because:
    a) they want to continue playing with each other.
    b) they want to win AND have the other person admit that it was won fair and square - makes the victory sweeter for them :).

    So the new rules are only a problem when you are playing with people like that stereotypical nerdy kid who keeps insisting on his really stretched interpretations of AD&D rules[1].

    In which case you just don't play with them.

    [1] Yes hackers do like stretching/bypassing the limits, but IMO there's not much point "winning" in games/life if nobody wants to play with you.
  • by pclminion (145572) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @03:05PM (#31752240)
    They'll continue selling the traditional version. Uh, what are they saying here? That you need to own two copies of the game if you want to play by two different sets of rules? Have we lost our minds today?
  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @03:22PM (#31752484) Homepage

    Are they in the dictionary?
    Then they don't count, as always.

I've got a bad feeling about this.